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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Paul's Remedy: Live By The Spirit

For the past few days, the talk of the town is the City Harvest Church's scandal.  For the first time in many years God's name is mentioned more frequently than usual in  many of the  news and social media.  While doing my quiet time, Paul's letter to the Galatians in Gals. 5:16-21  caught my attention.  Hear what the verses say "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,  and the Spirit what is contrary in the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit,  you are not under law.  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits or rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."  This clearly speaks of God's remedy for many of  today's woes  and pains.  My random thoughts specifically on the CHC's case are as follows:-

I) Proper & Good Governance of Church Funds:  The church funds are regulated under the Charities Act.  Are there proper accounting and transparency?; are the duties of the Governing Board and the Management Team properly spelt out and segregated? etc.  I remember not long ago many churches were renovating, retrofitting and building  and re-building their churches - congregations were asked to make donations for their building funds; what I found disgusting was the wanton waste of monies - renovations done one or two years ago were demolished and re-built.  My common sense tells me never to donate to such funds!

II) False Teaching &False Prophets:  God tells us to guard against false teaching and false prophets.  Colossians 2:8 states: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."  And more 2 Peter 2:1-3 say "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.  Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping."  My question is "Is there a Body within the churches which will study and vet such teachings - whether they are biblically correct, etc.?" or is there room for Government to step in when something is basically wrong!?  I remember not long ago many of our overseas students were "captured" by cult teaching and cult groups.  I have heard horrendous stories of children disobeying, renouncing and forsaking their parents!

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